This story is so stupid, so dumb, and so trivial that at the end, you will be shaking your head and saying to yourself, "That Carmen, she's really too much. I'm certainly glad that I'm not as crazy as she is."
This is the story of Uncrustables sandwiches. Or, how I almost lost my damn mind arguing with myself.
It began innocently enough, as most things do, at last year's soccer tournaments. We were given an item to purchase – the aforementioned uncrustables peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I never buy them. Never, never, never – mostly because I think that they are a completely ridiculous item. I've always said that it's the height of laziness that you can't be bothered to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It's super easy to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – two pieces of bread, slap some peanut butter, slap some jelly, smashed together. I've been making a ton of them every school morning for about 19 years. If you don't have time to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you're doing too much, I've said, and probably should take a minute to assess your life.
Hubris, party of one, your table is ready for you.
Isn't it funny when I become self-righteous?
Don't answer that. I really don't want to know the answer to that one.
Literally, I'm already cringing.
Anyway, I bought 4 boxes of the sandwiches, and virtually no one at the tournament ate them. So we took them home, and because I hate to throw away food, we proceeded to use those four boxes of sandwiches – we had about 30 remaining – over the next week or so. My kids who eat peanut butter loved them. I even enjoyed a couple. But I vowed I would never buy them again – it was a one time treat.
Not only is it easy to make a pb&j, I said, those things are EXPENSIVE.
Work and life have combined in a super spectacular way this week. I have been running from one fire to another, spraying a little water here, stomping on flames over there – and not really ever putting anything out, so things keep smacking me in the face. We've had five doctors appointments, numerous projects, Confirmation, two funerals for family friends, prep for testing, exam review – in other words, I've been frantic for most of the week. I've been working late, and getting up early to continue work, and not getting nearly enough sleep. I'm forcing myself to work out every day, no matter if I want to, or say I have no time. I know that my mood improves when I do, and my family desperately needs my mood to improve. Breakfast has been a joke, and every day, I tell myself that I need to make sure eat the next morning.
In other words, it's a pretty normal week for me. Probably for all of you as well. I'm nobody special.
One morning, as I packed my 9 MILLIONTH lunch - which my kids are SUPPOSED to be packing for themselves - my daughter said, "Wouldn't it be easier if you bought those really yummy and delicious sandwiches? The ones that are already made? Wouldn't that make your life easier and then you could have more time to drink coffee?"
She gets me.
I scoffed at that kid and continued to pack lunches - two got soy butter sandwiches, a baked potato with cheese and bacon graced a third lunch box, and chicken noodle soup went into the fourth. But her comments stayed with me, which explains how I found myself standing in front of the freezer section at Harris Teeter staring at these things....
You all would have laughed at me.
Just get them. The kids like them, usually they have a pretty healthy lunch so this kind of thing won't kill them...
NO. How hard is it to make a pb&j? Are you LAZY? Are they? Are you rewarding laziness?
Why am *I* ALWAYS the one who has to do everything the hard way? No one else does. I mean, I don't buy lunchables, pudding cups, chip packets, soda or junk juice or fruit snacks or any of that stuff. They get mostly homemade and healthy stuff, and always have fruit and often a veg and sometimes even a hot lunch of dinner leftovers or soup so why not a premade sandwich once in a while?
I turned and walked away.
Then I came back.
Maybe if they aren't too expensive, I can - HOLY COW! I can buy an entire jar of peanut butter for that! That's about 85 cents a sandwich - that's ridiculous. No. Not getting them.
I walked away. I grabbed paper towels, orange juice, greek yogurt
and then I came back again.
Just get the damned things. It's less than $1 a sandwich. You'll pay $2 for chicken nuggets without blinking. You can't deny that you are strapped for time and sometimes the sandwich part kills you in the mornings and it's MAY and school will be out soon so give the kids a treat and HEY! remember that you liked the strawberry ones, so maybe that could solve your breakfast crisis
You are stupid. Why are you arguing with yourself in the store?
And I tossed two boxes into the cart and walked away. I walked through the rest of the store, halfway tempted to hide those stupid sandwiches under the rest of the food and halfway tempted to stick them right on top of the cart and dare ANYONE to challenge me, because I was READY for it. I could not BELEIVE I'd walked back and forth like that three times and argued with myself. About sandwiches.
Yes, I'd say. Yes, I bought these for my kids. I don't care if they have more sugar than the homemade jelly I usually use for their sandwiches and I don't care that they aren't whole wheat bread and I KNOW there is a whole wheat choice and I DIDN'T make that choice this time and I don't care if you think I'm lazy and I don't care if you look down on my parenting for doing the best I can do right now
No one said a word. Because no one else cared - and, in reality, I shouldn't have cared either. They are just stupid, dumb sandwiches. Sandwiches that I *could* make at home because I have that dumb cutter and yeah, I could make a healthier version with organic fresh ground pb and whole wheat bread
but my kids were delighted when they unpacked the groceries and my daughter hugged me and thanked me for buying something that all her friends have, and yes, we've talked about not doing everything the same as your friends but that's a tough lesson when you are ten
and I really don't care that I spent way too much money
because, in the end, it doesn't really matter why I did it
just that I did it - and it made a couple of them feel good.
And for today, I'll take it.